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Former child actor Danny Pintauro has revealed that he is HIV positive.
Pintauro — who played Jonathan on the Tony Danza sitcom Who’s the Boss? — told Oprah Winfrey during Saturday’s episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? that he was diagnosed with the virus in 2003 but has waited until now to go public with the news.
“I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn’t ready — I’m ready now — that I’m HIV positive, and I have been for 12 years,” Pintauro, 39, told Winfrey. “It’s just a big deal. It’s not something that people are talking about right now really.”
Pintauro, who came out as gay in 1997, explained that he had been forced out at the time by a tabloid magazine reporter. He said he is now hoping to serve as a role model for those with the virus.
“I missed the opportunity to be a beacon of light for gay kids who were going through what I was going through because I was outed — it wasn’t by choice,” he said.
Pintauro explained that he was initially worried that the diagnosis would mean that he would have trouble starting a romantic relationship. In 2014, Pintauro married Wil Tabares, whom he met after his diagnosis.
Pintauro, who also detailed his previous crystal meth abuse during the interview, added that learning he is HIV positive actually provided him with a feeling of calm.
“There was a sense of relief,” he said. “You’ve spent so much time terrified that you’re going to get it, and then you have it, and you don’t have to be terrified anymore.”
A clip from the interview can be seen below.
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